Vickers F.B.26 Vampire History
The Vickers F.B.26 Vampire was built by Vickers in mid 1917 for the RFC, it was a WWI biplane fighter based on the existing Vickers existing F.B.12 biplane fighter design, the Vickers F.B.26 Vampire utilised a pusher engine/propeller to facilitate the forward firing of machine guns without hitting the the aircrafts own propeller blades.
Vickers F.B.26 Vampire Production
By the time the Vickers F.B.26 Vampire fighter design reached the end of it's prototype evolution, "pusher" type aircraft were deemed virtually obsolete, when tested for potential military use the Vickers F.B.26 Vampire's handling was deemed to be inadequate for a fighter, also WWI was visibly coming to an end, for these reasons the aircraft never entered production with only a hand full of Vickers F.B.26 Vampire prototypes ever being built.
Vickers F.B.26 Vampire Obsolescence
As far as WW1 fighter design was concerned the Vickers F.B.26 Vampire represented the end of "pusher designs" their main advantage having been negated by the introduction of interrupter gear which allowed a machine gun to fire through the propeller arc of tractor designs. In some applications, such as small amphibian aircraft and bombers, the pusher design survived until well after WWII.
Vickers F.B.26 Vampire Specifications:
Crew: Pilot only
Length: 23 ft 5 in (7.14 m)
Wingspan: 31 ft 6 in (9.60 m)
Height: 9 ft 5 in (2.87 m)
Empty weight: 1,467 lb (667 kg)
Loaded weight: 2,030 lb (923 kg)
Engine: Single 200 hp (149 kW) Hispano-Suiza 8 water-cooled V-8 piston engine
Maximum speed: 121 mph (195 km/h) @ 5,000 ft (1,500 m)
Service ceiling: 20,500 ft (6,250 m)
Endurance: 3 hours
Vickers F.B.26 Vampire Fighter Armament: Guns: Twin 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis Guns